From the moment Smartlands launched the private reservation of shares in the Nottingham purpose built student accommodation complex on March 19, the interest for the project and the demand for shares from verified private investors has been immense. Frankly, this was expected given the amount of work we put in over the last two years to create our proprietary technological solution and build the Platform for 21st-century investment crowdfunding.
Smartlands operates within the purview of the British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is a guarantee that every step on the Platform taken by you, our investors, and us corresponds with current British law. Notably, the regulator requires every investor on the Platform – private or otherwise – to go through several Know Your Customer/Anti Money Laundering procedures designed to verify investors’ identity, allowing everybody to conduct business in a safe and secure environment.
KYC/AML checks may take longer depending on the situation. We are pleased to confirm that, the majority of private investors have successfully uploaded all necessary verification documents, and completed the appropriateness test, in order to start investing as soon as we go live, thereby receiving a bit of a head start. However, in the runup to the public sale, a number of you have experienced some technical challenges with the KYC process, mainly for technical reasons that date back to the early days of preparation for our STO. For this, we apologize profusely.
In January, the decision to replace the KYC provider was made, and the world’s leading identity verification service Onfido came onboard. Very soon we became convinced that the company’s reputation for creating a new identity standard for the internet is well-deserved. Onfido’s AI-based technology assesses whether a user’s government-issued ID is genuine or fraudulent, and then compares it against their facial biometrics giving businesses assurances they need to onboard customers remotely and securely.
Today, the KYC/AML procedures on the Platform are normalized, and the entire verification process with guaranteed approval takes no more than 5-10 minutes, provided, your government ID and proof of residence are in order. But, guided by the strong and consistent demand, and to create a fair opportunity for all, we’ve decided to push out the launch of the public sale. This measure will enable us to properly evaluate the status of some of the older applications on the Platform and work with applicants towards resolving their KYC issues, track progress in real time, determine the remaining impediments, and find solutions. In a few days, once all existing applicants are successfully onboarded, we will announce the launch date.
We pride ourselves on being an equal opportunity business, and the current situation on the Platform clearly shows that a few “early birds” who have experienced friction from the old KYC system, need more time to prepare. Our commitment is to honour their early adoption of our platform and ensure that they are on an equal footing with those who were lucky enough to begin the KYC process with Onfido.
If in the next few days you are still experiencing trouble getting verified on the Smartlands Platform, our Customer Success Team is standing by to provide you with all appropriate assistance. We’ve created several fully comprehensive tutorials guiding you through the verification process. Additionally, you’ll be able to obtain all required information and instructions via our social channels and live chat on www.smartlands.io
CEO, Smartlands Platform